HK student just misses out on Australia's 'world's best job'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 June, 2013, 12:35pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 June, 2013, 4:17am

A Hong Kong finalist has lost his attempt to win Australia's "Best Jobs in the World" competition, which attracted 330,000 applicants from 196 nations.

Chris Leung Yin-chung, an ecology and evolutionary biology student at Princeton University in the United States, was one of three finalists for the post of park ranger in Queensland. He lost the dream job to Elisa Detrez from France, Tourism Australia said yesterday.

The job, which comes with a salary of A$50,000 (HK$358,000), requires patrolling rainforest, waterfalls and beaches while protecting native plants and animals. It is one of the six jobs offered in Australia's annual Best Jobs in the World campaign.

A total of 18 finalists spent the past week undertaking a series of challenges based around adventure-training, cooking, social media and photography, as part of a rigorous, final selection process.

"To be frank, I wasn't disappointed or unhappy [about losing]," 22-year-old Leung wrote on his Facebook page, saying it was a good beginning after graduating from university two months ago.

He told the South China Morning Post he could be a little nervous in group activities. "Elisa is very enthusiastic. She knows exactly what she wants."

Nevertheless, he enjoyed his many life "firsts" over the past week - riding in a helicopter, seeing a turtle up close and wandering the woods on a Segway.

Leung will return to Hong Kong soon, and may pursue a career in conservation or the media. He has already had some up-close encounters with wild animals during an exchange programme in Kenya for three months.

His Facebook page has attracted more than 2,000 "likes", and users have left encouraging comments, saying he had made Hongkongers proud. Two Hong Kong people were shortlisted, but only Leung advanced to the final round.

Among the other winners were a Californian who was named "Chief Funster" and an Irish internet entrepreneur called "Outback Adventurer". A Briton won the job of "Taste Master", which will see him touring best restaurants, wineries and pubs.

A Brazilian was selected as a lifestyle photographer in Melbourne, and a Canadian will be a wildlife caretaker in South Australia.

The winning candidates are expected to commence their new roles between August and December 2013.